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Cancer treatment helping local man live his life to the fullest

Posted at 8:18 AM, May 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-30 19:07:21-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — DJ Stewart was diagnosed with grade four glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of cancer in 2019. Because of this dangerous tumor, doctors gave him 11 months to live.

That was 25 months ago and he is still alive and doing well.

He credits doctors finding the best treatment for him. Stewart now wears a device most of the day called Optune that is helping keep him alive.

"It's sending those fields throughout my brain to stop movement, to stop movement. Kind of like roundup for weeds,” Stewart said. "I will wear this thing as long as it's helping. Doesn't bother me. I got used to it. I do more with this backup than most. I am eternally grateful for that."

Stewart still lives life to the fullest by skateboarding and riding his motorcycle. He also has support besides his family with local non-profit, Head for the Cure.

They help people all over the nation but are based here in KC. They have given thousands upon thousands of dollars to the University of Kansas Cancer Center, where doctors said immunotherapy is showing great results in fighting against cancerous brain tumors.

"Right now, our laboratory and others across the country are trying to implement cellular therapies against brain cancer. It's essentially when you take the bodies own immune cells, their own T-cells and train them to identify the cancer and then you infuse them back into the patient. They can seek out the tumor cells and destroy them while leaving the normal brain tissue alone,” said Dr. David Akhavan, Physician Scientist at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

Head for the Cure will have their annual 5K in KC this year, in-person on August 29th.